[Tech Time Traveller] has a lot of voices in his head this week, and most of them are worried about his wife’s reaction to him buying other people’s garbage. We don’t blame him, though. He bought it from an estate sale and it was billed as a TV typewriter. The device looked completely homebrewed from somewhere around the late 1970s to the early 1980s. It contains a mess of components obviously hand-built in a combination of neat construction and messy wiring.
[Tech] videos most of his tests and exploration to get the thing working and tested. Given its age and construction, it worked surprisingly well, although it did take a little work to get it back to complete function. In fact, he bought the device three years ago and is finally getting around to finishing the project and putting together the video.
The terminal had a very odd Molex connector with a missing pin that matched the SWTP 6800’s serial port. A little investigation revealed that the same estate sale had sold a 6800-based computer, too. The keyboard itself was actually something you could buy at Radio Shack for a while. We wonder how many of them got used and how many just sat on shelves until they were junked.
You have to wonder what the story is behind this device and the matching computer. It took a great deal of skill to build something like this back in the day. Today, you could easily do something like this using off-the-shelf stuff. You have to wonder if anything you are building today will be on the next generation’s version of YouTube in the year 2070. Probably not.
TV typewriters were definitely a thing, launched by a famous book by [Don Lancaster]. When you look at all the circuitry required, it is amazing to think you can now fit a whole computer inside something like this.